REVIEW: Bad Walters Scouts Honor

Thin Mints get all the love, but let’s be real, Samoas are the best Girl Scout cookie. Their combination of chocolate, caramel, coconut, and shortbread are divine, and that flavor is absolutely primed to excel as an ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s tried earlier this year with its Chewy Gooey Cookie flavor, which had some promise but failed to hit the highs of the delicious purple-boxed cookie. But have no fear, local lactose-free churner Bad Walters gave the profile a different twist and if you’re like me and think that Samoas are the best Girl Scout cookie and that Phish Food is the pinnacle of Ben & Jerry’s standard lineup— you’re gonna want to pay attention to the next time this one drops. Scouts Honor is a dark chocolate custard with salty caramel swirls and coconut macaroons.

I was curious how well a chocolate base would translate the Samoas experience but I’m happy to report that the bittersweet chocolate isn’t overbearing, and the Samoas profile is on full display in flavor HD. The base is intensely dark and tastes fantastic. As I noted in my review of Dream Team, it isn’t as smooth and lush as every other base I’ve had from Bad Walters, and it’s a tough trade off because the flavor is SO good but the texture gets held back a bit. I found this to be mostly remedied with extra temper time, but it still has a touch more grittiness than anything else I’ve scooped from the burgeoning local legend. You can see in the pictures how it’s a bit chunky, and I’m pretty sure it’s from the heavy handed cocoa powder. I wish it was more velvety but I love it regardless; and admire its bold punchy chocolate flavor that stands tall amongst a crowd of milkier chocolates.

The chocolate base is 75% altered, and honestly augmented, by the insane amount of salted caramel swirls; and it absolutely rules. As a Phish Food freak this dark chocolate meets caramel combo hits me right in the heart. The caramel has a perfectly caramelized slightly burnt taste that keeps it from getting too sweet. It has a flavor closer to Salt & Straw with a thinner texture more akin to B&J. It’s a fantastic medium that works so incredibly well with the strong base. Phenomenal.

The macaroons are where this pint has the chance to make or break the whole theme, and let me tell you, this shit is POPPIN’. There are SO many macaroons and they are next level perfection. Who knew macaroons are such a good mix-in? I think this is my first time having them in ice cream and I desperately need it to not be the last. The sensually sweet balls of buttery shredded coconut pop up everywhere, with caramelized crunchy bits on the bottom that actually send me over the moon. The saltiness that comes through, along with the toothy chew, is better than I could have ever imagined. Not to mention the many crevices for the chocolate and caramel to soak into, making for a singular mix-in that’s anything but static. Scouts Honor 100% channels a strong love for Samoas, but it’s a decadent and absurdly good pint of ice cream on its own (scouts) merit, too. 

Rating: 9/10

Found at: Bad Walters ($13.50)

REVIEW: Bad Walter’s Slumber Party

When I first wrote here about emerging lactose-free artisan ice cream queen Bad Walters I mentioned the amazing base quality and massive potential with a desire for more mix-in density. Those qualms have been answered beyond my wildest dreams with the latest monthly masterpiece and absolute BANGER of a pint in Slumber Party: Ritz Cracker ice cream with Nutter Butters, Reese’s Pieces, and a thicc fudge swirl.

The base is absolutely perfect. I have yet to scoop a base from BW that doesn’t deliver on what it’s aiming for and I loved every moment of this rich and salty ice cream that shines with golden buttery Ritz cracker flavor. It tastes and even smells exactly like the red-boxed titan to the degree that if you didn’t tell me what it was and I was blindfolded I would be able to nail it on one bite.

The Nutter Butters are an amazing mix-in choice and were chopped up the perfect size — big enough to yield a substantial chew but not quite taking over the entire spoon. The texture is exactly like nice Oreo chunks in a proper cookies and cream, softened like they’ve been dunked in milk but still hard enough to be a really fun textural contrast against the base. 

The thicc fudge swirl was exactly as described – more akin to frosting than a typical fudge swirl, and it would have stolen the show if the base wasn’t so damn good. I loved it. In the best way it reminded me of the Duncan Hines chocolate frosting my mom used to finish my birthday cakes with growing up; I would eat this swirl by the jar. Anyone who’s had the seasonal Fudge Covered Ritz Crackers during the holidays knows how perfect this combo is.

The only part of this pint that didn’t work for me were the Reese’s Pieces, and despite how cool they look and sound, I wasn’t surprised I didn’t love them. When frozen, Reese’s Pieces lose their creaminess and become kind of waxy, and unfortunately none of their salty PB flavor stood a chance against the perfect and salty base, so they didn’t taste like much either. I did appreciate their chomp as the sole crunchy mix-in but I don’t need them here as they mostly got in the way of the other stars of the show.

This pint will be available again TODAY at 6:30 PM PST for pickup this weekend. If you’re in the bay area set your alarms and be ready to act quickly because they’re out now in less than 5 minutes, and it’s worth every penny.

Rating: 9.5/10

Found at: Bad Walter’s ($12.00)